China, N.Korea, Russia commemorate 70th anniversary of Korean War armistice
Published: Jul 27, 2023 10:25 PM
This undated picture released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on July 26, 2023 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (central) laying a wreath at the Chinese People's Volunteers Martyrs' Cemetery in South Pyongan Province ahead of the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Fatherland Liberation War. Photo: VCG

This undated picture released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on July 26, 2023 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (central) laying a wreath at the Chinese People's Volunteers Martyrs' Cemetery in South Pyongan Province ahead of the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Fatherland Liberation War. Photo: VCG

China, North Korea and Russia commemorated the 70th anniversary of the armistice agreement that ended the 1950-53 Korean War on Thursday, with Chinese and Russian delegations meeting with the country's top leader Kim Jong-un and other senior officials, and attending a series of festive events in Pyongyang.

Chinese experts said China, Russia and North Korea are all facing pressure and threats from the US-led military alliance in the Korean Peninsula, the Asia-Pacific region and Europe, and this kind of situation is similar to the world in the 1950s, and by jointly commemorating the armistice anniversary, the three countries are sending a strong signal that the US should learn from its lesson in the peninsula and avoid repeating mistakes that will eventually bring tragedy to the world and cause great damage to US national strength. 

According to a report by North Korean state media Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Thursday, Kim, chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), attended a grand celebratory performance to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the victory in the country's Fatherland Liberation War.

The Chinese Party and government delegation led by Li Hongzhong, vice chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, and the Russian military delegation led by Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, also attended the event. 

The armistice has been commemorated by China and is known as the Victory of the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-53), with major state media including the Xinhua News Agency and the People's Liberation Army Daily publishing commentaries and China Central Television broadcasting a special TV program to mark the 70th anniversary of the victory and vowing to inherit the great spirit that the Chinese people and military displayed during the war, as China faces new challenges from hegemonic acts in the new era.

During the PLA Air Force open-day event at the Changchun Aviation Exhibition, which is being held in Changchun, capital of Northeast China's Jilin Province from Wednesday to Sunday, the military band of the PLA Air Force and the PLA Air Force's Bayi Aerobatic Team put on special performances paying tribute to the 70th anniversary of the great victory.

Friendship of comrades

Prior to enjoying the performance, Kim had warm and friendly talks with Li, KCNA reported. Li delivered a personal letter sent to Kim by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and president of China, on the occasion of the war victory day.

Kim told Li that the significance of July 27, the war victory day common to the Korean and Chinese peoples, was further highlighted as they were present together to celebrate it. Noting that Xi dispatched a Party and government delegation to the DPRK in the current crucial period, he said that it showed the general secretary's wish to attach great importance to the DPRK-China friendship, KCNA reported. 

Saying the Korean people will never forget the fact that the brave soldiers of the Chinese People's Volunteers (CPV) shed blood to bring about the victory or their noble spirit and soul, though many years have passed and generations have been replaced with new ones, Kim affirmed that the WPK and the DPRK government will as ever strive to further strengthen the friendship and solidarity with the fraternal Chinese people and always advance hand in hand with the Chinese people in the struggle for socialism.

On Wednesday, Kim also visited and paid tribute at the cemetery of martyrs of the CPV in Hoechang county in South Phyongan Province.

It's worth noting that both China and Russia highly value their ties with North Korea, but there is a difference in that China-DPRK relations are always driven by CPC-WPK high-level political mutual trust, and now due to the impact of the Ukraine crisis and the rising tensions in the Korean Peninsula, Russia attaches greater importance to pushing military cooperation with North Korea and the two military forces are sharing more common concerns and interests, said Chinese analysts.

Kim met the visiting Shoigu on Wednesday, KCNA reported. On the occasion, Shoigu courteously conveyed a signed letter from Russian President Vladimir Putin to Kim. On the same day, Kim also visited the Weaponry Exhibition House with Shoigu to show North Korea's latest military achievements. 

During talks with the Russian defense minister, Kim expressed his views on issues of mutual concern in the struggle to safeguard the sovereignty, development and interests of the two countries from "the high-handed and arbitrary practices of the imperialists" and to realize international justice and peace. Kim repeatedly expressed belief that "the Russian army and people would achieve big successes in the struggle to build a powerful country," KCNA reported.

What the US can learn

The US, which invaded North Korea in 1950 and suffered a huge failure after a series of battles with the CPV some 70 years ago, is now increasing its provocative and dangerous military activities in the Asia-Pacific region, including the Korean Peninsula and Taiwan Straits, and its act of pushing NATO eastern expansion has ruined the security structure in Europe and caused the terrible ongoing Ukraine crisis, so Chinese analysts urged the US to learn from the serious lessons of history and stop their wrongdoings to avoid the potential danger of new conflicts. 

Lü Chao, an expert on Korean Peninsula issues with the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that the situation on the peninsula is becoming increasingly tense due to US deployment of strategic weapons including nuclear-armed submarines and strategic bombers.

"China and Russia sending senior delegations to attend the events in Pyongyang shows the unity and traditional friendship among the Chinese, Russian and North Korean peoples," Lü said. "This will contribute to the peace and stability of the peninsula." 

Wang Junsheng, a research fellow of East Asian studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, said the US and its allies accused China and Russia of "forming an alliance to confront the US, Japan and South Korea, but this is a typical act of a thief crying out 'stop thief!' It was the US pushing the formation of a US-Japan-South Korea military alliance that has created bloc confrontation in the region."

Li Zongxun, a professor at the Institute of Humanistic and Social Science at Yanbian University, said in an article he sent to the Global Times that "the US should be aware that the post-WWII international order still benefits the US, as its financial and military advantages still remain," but if it continues to challenge, contain and confront China on core interests such as the Taiwan question, it's possible to see a great decline in US national strength and the US will lose its position in the international order.

"Chinese military force is much greater than [it was] 70 years ago, and the US failed at that time despite overwhelming military advantages. If the US provokes another conflict today, it will suffer much greater losses for sure," Li Zongxun warned. 

He also said the US should not expect its allies to unconditionally serve its hegemonic aims, as today is not the Cold War era anymore, and China is a key trading partner of South Korea and Japan, and these two countries are believed to want peace and stability in the region, so the US attempt to form a US-Japan-South Korea military alliance won't work.